Are Fiber Optic Cables Better Than Traditional Copper Cables

Throughout the world, businesses and consumers are increasingly opting to use fiber optic cables instead of traditional copper cables. This can be seen in companies in the telecommunication industry as more are upgrading to fiber optic cable networks. If you are wondering why this is the case, let us shed some light on the advantages of using fiber optic cables instead of traditional copper cables in this article.

Fiber Optic Cables Vs. Copper Cables

Here's how these cables compare against each other in a nutshell:

Fiber Optic Cables

Copper Cables

How They Work

Transmit signals through light pulses

Transmit data through electrical pulses

Materials

Glass fibers

Copper wires

Weight and Size

Light and thin

Heavy and thick

Reliability

Very reliable

Less reliable

Transmission Speed

Fast

Slow

Transmission Range

Long range

Short range

Power Consumption

Approximately 2W per user

Over 10W per user

Noise Tolerance

High

Low

Overall Service Lifespan

Between 30 and 50 years

Up to 5 years

Data Transmission Speed

Optical fiber and copper are both materials that are commonly used in cables to transmit data. However, cables made with optical fiber can transmit data faster than their copper counterparts, especially over long distances. This is because optical fiber transmits signals using pulses of light in glass threads. As light can travel quickly through optical fiber, this allows data to be transmitted much faster in fiber optic cables than in copper cables. In this day and age, speed is one of the most important things to look out for when choosing cables and devices. It is no wonder that more businesses and consumers are looking to upgrade to fiber optic cables.

Distance Coverages

When data is transmitted, it is expected that the signal will weaken as the distance grows larger. This is true for both fiber optic cables and copper cables. However, the former can cover much greater distances when transmitting data before the signal weakens considerably. In addition, users can trust fiber optic cables to transmit data more reliably than copper cables when a large distance has to be covered.

Susceptibility to Electromagnetic Interference and Radio Frequency Interference

Due to the increased use of wireless devices, stray EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) is rampant in a wide variety of homes. Copper cables are known to pick up this type of interference, which results in 'noise' or a grainy effect when your content is displayed on the screen. To reduce external interference, copper cables typically feature shielding. However, this affects the overall signal quality. In other words, the longer your copper cables are, the greater the chance that something affects its signal (e.g., other cables that run nearby). If you are fussy about details like this, fiber cables are a good alternative to copper cables. They are not susceptible to EMI by nature as the fibers do not contain any metal content. Therefore, you can run fiber optic cables in locations where metal-based cables would result in poorer signal quality due to Electromagnetic Interference.

Durability Matters

It is important to note that the glass fibers within fiber-optic cables are fragile. Although most cables are designed to protect these fibers, they can be damaged more easily than copper wires. In addition, it is difficult to detect a broken fiber. If you are planning on using fiber optic cables, always maintain a uniform pulling force on the cable. You should not exert too much force or tension during cable despooling and pulling. If you need to bend the fiber cable, keep in mind to maintain the minimum bend radius.

Shop Fiber Optic Cables at Pacroban

Are you looking to upgrade to fiber optic cables? Here at Pacroban, we stock a selection of fiber optic cables that are suitable for a wide range of uses. Contact us to let us know if you have any questions and our friendly customer representatives will get back to you as soon as possible.